Bioquímica - UNESP Araraquara
Agosto a Setembro de 2011
I’m right now sitting at Guarulhos airport in Sao Paulo drinking my last “Suco natural” and thinking about the last ten weeks that I spent here in Brazil.
First of all, what brought me here? I wanted to do an IAESTE internship in South America because I was eager to discover this continent, and as I met a couple of Brazilian IAESTE trainees in my hometown last year, Brazil seemed to be the perfect destination for me. One these friends came to the airport to pick me up and introduced me to Brazilian food, daily life and a lot more. I spent a few more days in Sao Paulo with another friend who was happy to show me her city. Of course, the whole families of my friends did their best to welcome me. And it is exactly this spirit of “hospitalidade”, openness and happiness that made me love the Brazilian people. I made very nice experiences with Brazilians again and again.
After one week in Sao Paulo, I travelled to Araraquara where I should do my internship in the chemistry institute of UNESP. I was accommodated in a “republica”, a house shared by 8 Brazilian students. This meant to get along with a lot of different personalities and to share a room, but it also meant a lot of fun. The girls took me to a lot of parties where I got to know many many students, including the other IAESTE trainees working in the same city. I particularly loved the “churrascos” on Saturday!
My internship was very nice, too. I worked on natural products, a very popular field of research in Brazil, and learned a lot of new things. I was surprised that the laboratory equipment was quite elaborated. And I even had the possibility to visit an international congress with four Nobel Prize laureates in Campinas during four days.
In Addition, I traveled a lot by bus on weekends and holydays and thereby visited Rio de Janeiro, Riberao Preto, Foz do Iguaçu, Pantanal, Bonito and the “festa do peao” in Barretos.
As I studied Portuguese for one semester before coming here, the communication was quite easy for me and progressed from day to day since I spoke Portuguese in my “republica”, at work, and wherever necessary. One thing that made me struggle a little, was the fact that Brazilians like to spend the whole day sleeping or in front of the TV and, love to meet friends and go to parties during the whole night. This is somewhat different in my country and I always think I’m missing something by sleeping during the day. Although it was sometimes really exhausting, I went to many parties and I have to admit that I would have missed a lot by sleeping instead.
I tried to experience as much as possible of Brazil and it resulted in a great mix of impressions: cities, natural beauty, food, daily life, research, parties, Portuguese language… All this is Brazil to me! Muito obrigada IAESTE Brasil!